Light Beers that aren’t “Light” Beers

One of the beers of the summer has been JÅN Olympic White Lagrrr! by the Astoria, Queens–brewery Singlecut. As you can tell from the name, it’s a white lager, something you don’t see very often.

When we went to Peekskill on Sunday, I had another white lager at the Peekskill Brewery that was made with the same hops that “power” their sour beers, most notably their Simple Sour and The Aristocrats.

As you can tell, it’s white! Or at least it’s pretty light. The Styriana was a pretty solid beer, which scores really high with Beer Advocate reviewers.

This reminded me of a beer I had on the other side of the country at the Angel City Brewery in Los Angeles. It was the White Nite stout. Again, as the name implies, it’s a white stout.

Most white beers, or witbiers are made with wheat, which makes for a light yet tart flavor found in a lot of summer beers. But the Angel City stout does not taste like a wheat beer. It tastes like a stout. Beer drinkers, who are more knowledgeable than me, note flavors ordinarily found in stouts: coffee, chocolate, and earth.

Casual beer drinkers will certainly note flavor first and associate color with that flavor. How many times have you heard someone ask a bartender for a “light beer?” What’s different about these beers is that despite their light color, their flavor is quite strong.

Unless this goes to the logical extreme of brewers producing clear beer, I’m all for watching these independent breweries producing some novel brews.

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